Friday, January 31, 2014

Robert Naiman vs Scarlett Johansson

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Huffington Post blogsophere would want to get involved with the Scarlett and Sodastream issue that's been dominating the Israel-related headlines this week. I commented on Abraham Foxman before and now Robert "Flotilla" Naiman is here to ascribe false motives to Johansson. Always a classy move. So after rehashing what has been going on, and posting partial quotes from the players involved, Naiman makes a big statement:
"Oxfam's view is that someone who supports the two-state solution should not be promoting economic ties with Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson's view, apparently, is that it's ok to claim that you support a two-state solution and then turn around and promote economic ties with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, thereby bolstering and normalizing the occupation."
Johansson endorses Sodastream, which has one of many factories in the West Bank. This is classic pro-BDS hyperbole: Johansson is not in favor of promoting economic ties with Israeli settlements or of bolstering and "normalizing" (a Palsbarist's favorite word) any occupation. Yes, she supports Sodastream's factory because, according to her, it treats Israeli and Palestinians workers equally and builds bridges. Apparently Naiman would prefer both sides spend all day living apart and hating each other. But that hardly means that Johansson supports the settlements in general or the occupation. Claiming that she does is just dishonest; a classic Robert Naiman move. Having made one big statement, he doubles down on another:
"Oxfam's view is normative among sincere advocates of a two-state solution. Johansson's apparent view is marginal among sincere advocates of a two-state solution."
Pretty much the entire world wants a two state solution. More of them agree with Johansson than with Oxfam. The so-called "limited boycott" is a relatively new thing and most countries aren't in favor of it. What most countries have come to accept is that most settlements will stay under Israeli control. Here's the proof. So you can refuse to do business with settlements if you really really want to, but it isn't going to make a difference. Besides, even if you didn't buy from products made in settlements, settlers only live there, they don't always work there. As I have said many times before: you aren't going to get 500,000 people to just pack up and leave. But Israel haters like Naiman have never had particularly realistic goals. The big statements continue of course:
"By claiming to support a two-state solution while helping to bolster the occupation, Scarlett Johansson is acting as a Susan Collins for the occupation, pretending to be moderate, while acting to bolster extremists."
Who exactly are these "extremists" that Johansson is "bolstering?" Or is that just something we say about anyone who disagrees with us? Perhaps Naiman is referring to people who want to support Palestinian jobs, people who don't think that boycotts work, or people who just aren't as left-wing as he is? Who knows. After providing some free advertising for various anti-Israel social media letters to Santa, he signs off. Hopefully we won't be seeing him again any time soon.

1 comment:

  1. Naiman's view, apparently, is that it's ok to claim he supports the rights of Palestinians to self-determination and then turn around and promote putting Palestinians out of well-paying jobs with Israeli Jews (and Israeli Arabs), thereby bolstering the conceit of BDS that they know what is good for the Palestinians better than the Palestinians do themselves.

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